Greater Ancestors

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La Crosse County – VERY LARGE SIZE


John Buck of Driesbach City, six miles north of La Crosse sends the following account of the discovery of large human skeletons to the Winona Republican: A. L. jENKS, OF THIS PLACE,  in prospecting in one of those mounds that are so common in this western country; discovered at a depts of 5 of six feet, the remains of seven or eight people of very large size.
One thigh bone measured 3 feet in length. The underjaw was one inch wider than that of any man in this city. He also found clam shells, pieces of ivory or bone rings, pieces of kettle pieces of kettle made of earth and course sand, there were at the neck of one of those skeletons, teeth two inches long by one half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter, with holes drilled into the sides, and the end polished, with a crease around it.
Also an arrow 5 inches long stuck through the back bone,  and one about eight inches long stuck into the left breast. Also the blade of a copper hatchet one and one half inches wide and two inches long. The hatchet was found stuck in the skull of the same skeleton. The mound is some two hundred feet above the surface of the Mississippi and composed of clay, immediately above the remains, two feet thick; then comes a layer of loam, then another of clay six inches thick, all closely packed that it was with difficulty that it could be penetrated. There are some four or five different layers of earth above the remains. There is no such clay found elsewhere in this vicinity.

The discovery of very large human skeletons in La Crosse County back in 1860 has been a topic of interest and controversy for many years. According to the report, the thigh bone of one of the skeletons measured three feet in length, which is significantly longer than the average human thigh bone today. The underjaw was also wider than any man in the city at that time. Additionally, teeth with holes drilled into the sides were found, which is not a common trait in human teeth. The arrow and hatchet found in the remains indicate that these individuals may have been involved in violent conflicts.

While some may argue that the measurements and descriptions of the skeletons in this report are exaggerated or inaccurate, there have been numerous other discoveries of large human skeletons throughout history. In fact, many of these discoveries have been reported in newspapers and scientific journals, with some even being put on display in museums. These discoveries provide insight into the diversity and variations of human populations throughout history, and they continue to spark curiosity and fascination among researchers and the public alike.

  1. Janesville Gazette, July 6 1860


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